Senator DIANE B. ALLEN
District 7 (Burlington and Camden)
Senator LORETTA WEINBERG
District 37 (Bergen)
Senators Beck and Lesniak
Provides affirmative defense to prostitution charge for persons under 16.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning sexually exploited minors and amending N.J.S.2C:34-1
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. N.J.S.2C:34-1 is amended to read as follows:
2C:34-1. Prostitution and Related Offenses.
a. As used in this section:
(1) "Prostitution" is sexual activity with another person in exchange for something of economic value, or the offer or acceptance of an offer to engage in sexual activity in exchange for something of economic value.
(2) "Sexual activity" includes, but is not limited to, sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, and oral-anal contact, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; masturbation; touching of the genitals, buttocks, or female breasts; sadistic or masochistic abuse and other deviate sexual relations.
(3) "House of prostitution" is any place where prostitution or promotion of prostitution is regularly carried on by one person under the control, management or supervision of another.
(4) "Promoting prostitution" is:
(a) Owning, controlling, managing, supervising or otherwise keeping, alone or in association with another, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business;
(b) Procuring an inmate for a house of prostitution or place in a house of prostitution for one who would be an inmate;
(c) Encouraging, inducing, or otherwise purposely causing another to become or remain a prostitute;
(d) Soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute;
(e) Procuring a prostitute for a patron;
(f) Transporting a person into or within this State with purpose to promote that person's engaging in prostitution, or procuring or paying for transportation with that purpose; or
(g) Knowingly leasing or otherwise permitting a place controlled by the actor, alone or in association with others, to be regularly used for prostitution or promotion of prostitution, or failure to make a reasonable effort to abate such use by ejecting the tenant, notifying law enforcement authorities, or other legally available means.
b. A person commits an offense if:
(1) The actor engages in prostitution;
(2) The actor promotes prostitution;
(3) The actor knowingly promotes prostitution of a child under 18 whether or not the actor mistakenly believed that the child was 18 years of age or older, even if such mistaken belief was reasonable;
(4) The actor knowingly promotes prostitution of the actor's child, ward, or any other person for whose care the actor is responsible;
(5) The actor compels another to engage in or promote prostitution;
(6) The actor promotes prostitution of the actor's spouse; or
(7) The actor knowingly engages in prostitution with a person under the age of 18, or if the actor enters into or remains in a house of prostitution for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a child under the age of 18, or if the actor solicits or requests a child under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity. It shall be no defense to a prosecution under this paragraph that the actor mistakenly believed that the child was 18 years of age or older, even if such mistaken belief was reasonable.
c. Grading of offenses under subsection b.
(1) An offense under subsection b. constitutes a crime of the second degree if the offense falls within paragraph (3) or (4) of that subsection.
(2) An offense under subsection b. constitutes a crime of the third degree if the offense falls within paragraph (5), (6) or (7) of that subsection.
(3) An offense under paragraph (2) of subsection b. constitutes a crime of the third degree if the conduct falls within subparagraph (a), (b), or (c) of paragraph (4) of subsection a. Otherwise the offense is a crime of the fourth degree.
(4) An offense under subsection b. constitutes a disorderly persons offense if the offense falls within paragraph (1) of that subsection except that a second or subsequent conviction for such an offense constitutes a crime of the fourth degree. In addition, where a motor vehicle was used in the commission of any offense under paragraph (1) of subsection b. the court shall suspend for six months the driving privilege of any such offender who has a valid driver's license issued by this State. Upon conviction, the court shall immediately collect the offender's driver's license and shall forward it, along with a report stating the first and last day of the suspension imposed pursuant to this paragraph, to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
d. Presumption from living off prostitutes. A person, other than the prostitute or the prostitute's minor child or other legal dependent incapable of self-support, who is supported in whole or substantial part by the proceeds of prostitution is presumed to be knowingly promoting prostitution.
e. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for a violation of this section that, during the time of the alleged commission of the offense, the defendant was a victim of human trafficking pursuant
to section 1 of P.L.2005, c.77 (C.2C:13-8) or the defendant was under the age of 16.
(cf: P.L. 2005, c.77, s.2.)
2.. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would provide an affirmative defense to any person under the age of 16 who engages in prostitution. The bill is intended to address situations where minors are charged criminally as a result of being a victim of sexual abuse.
Under current law, a person is afforded an affirmative defense to a charge of prostitution only if the person is a victim of human trafficking.